Fox will debut a strange, new celebreality singing competition series on Wednesday, January 2, called The Masked Singer. Former America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon is the master of ceremonies, while actor and comedian Ken Jeong (The Hangover), entertainer Jenny McCarthy (The View), and singers Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke serve as panelists.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the television program is based on a popular international format that has become a viral sensation. The series starts with 12 celebrities covered from head to toe in bizarre costumes that completely mask their true identities singing songs in one-on-one battles. Then, the host, panelists, studio audience, home viewers, and other contestants try to figure out who the person really is.
"The singers can try to throw the crowd off of their scent, while keen observers might pick up on tiny hints buried throughout the show," stated Fox, who said that the secret celebrity competitors are singers, actors, professional athletes, and everything in between.
At the end of each episode, one of the singers will be eliminated. That person then takes off their mask to reveal who he or she really is.
On the January 2 episode of The Talk, The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon said that the show has the elements of "variety," "competition," and "mystery" TV programs. He had vowed to never host a television series again, but "this show took me out of hosting retirement." Cannon added that he cannot believe how producers were able to get A-listers to "sing live in those ridiculous costumes."
As for those elaborate and gaudy costumes, each performer is given a nickname based on their guise. There's Poodle, Lion, Unicorn, Alien, Pineapple, Hippo, Rabbit, Bee, Peacock, Raven, Deer, and Monster.
In its review of the The Masked Singer, USA Today said that "it's impossible not to fall in love" with what "might just be the only reality TV show that doesn't manufacture its fun."
"No tear-jerking backstories, no real critiques from the judges, no attempt to get 'America' involved with online voting and endless results shows. It's a tightly paced hour in which the main joys are the good and bad voices, the costumes, and the reactions of the judges and the in-studio audience."Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly said that it is "a spectacle, one that will captivate you against your better judgment and leave you with so many questions that you just may have to tune in for another week. It may also cause you to worry that someone dropped expired LSD in your Diet Coke."
Watch a preview of The Masked Singer below.
The Masked Singer premieres on Wednesday, January 2, at 9 p.m. on Fox.